"Time Bomb"
Written by Ben Edlund; directed by Vern Gillum

In the basement of his house in suburbia (see “Underneath” and “Origin”), Gunn is about to have his heart cut out when the house starts to shake. Illyria bursts in, knocks the heart-removing demon away, and rips off Gunn’s necklace. Illyria tries to get Gunn to leave with her and he tells her that he can’t unless someone takes his place. Illyria solves the problem by putting the necklace on the demon, which forces it to cut out its own heart. In Angel’s office, Wesley explains that he told Illyria about Gunn and she decided to go get him from suburbia. Angel wonders why Illyria would take a risk for the MoG, but Wesley doesn’t think she’s taking a risk, since she’s so powerful. Angel is worried that Illyria thinks she can take over again. Wesley wants to figure out a way to integrate her with the MoG, but Angel doesn’t seem to think this is a good idea. Illyria arrives with Gunn, noting that he’s valuable to the MoG. Some time later, Gunn heads to his office and sees everything that’s piled up in his absence. He goes to see Wesley, who says that he should apologize for stabbing Gunn (see “Shells”), but he’s not sure how to. Gunn says that he’s not looking for an apology, and since he just spend the past two weeks getting his heart cut out every day, he’s over the stabbing. He’s confused as to why Illyria saved his life, and he doesn’t know which way is up in Wolfram & Hart. Wesley says that they all have to adjust, especially since Illyria looks just like Fred.

Illyria beats on Spike in a training room and notes that he liked Fred, but he has no problem hitting her. Spike says that he knows she’s not Fred, so he’s already adapted to her. She blasts humans for taking the world apart and getting as much as they can for themselves. Her idea of winning the game of life is not to die with the most toys, but not to die at all. Spike tries to start up their training fight again, but Illyria messes with time to beat him. Angel pulls Spike aside and tells him that they have to stop the training sessions, since Illyria is testing him rather than the other way around. Suddenly Illyria doubles over in pain and Spike thinks he’s beaten her. Lorne visits Gunn in his office, wearing a hat and sunglasses. He explains that Angel wants him to tail Illyria, so he’s going incognito and playing spy with a walkie-talkie. They talk about Wesley, who Lorne says is like two people - one who shuffles around impatiently and one who locks himself in his office and obsesses over Illyria. Angel summons Lorne to a meeting on the walkie-talkie, not using the same radio language as Lorne. The MoG gather and discuss getting rid of Illyria. Wesley isn’t completely in favor, but he agrees to help Angel figure out a weakness they can take advantage of. Gunn brings up the apocalypse, which Lindsey mentioned in “Underneath,” and wonders what it means for the MoG. Angel doesn’t know what they’re supposed to do, since they don’t know what they’re fighting. Hamilton arrives and announces that when Illyria rescued Gunn, she destroyed a bunch of property. He’s charging the firm for the damages, which means that Angel will be hurting. He adds that he has something for them to take care of and will be sending the file to Gunn. Angel doesn’t care, but Hamilton thinks he should focus on making a profit. After he leaves, Lorne says Hamilton is still better than Eve.

Illyria visits Wesley in his office, asking him what day it is and noting that they’ve had this conversation before. She accuses him of being her “betrayer,” saying that when he broke the Orlon Window (see “Origin”), he wanted to alter the past. Instead, he brought back painful memories and basically failed. He says that he wanted to bring back Fred and Illyria notes that this would have destroyed her. However, she can’t care too much. Gunn brings Angel the file Hamilton sent him and Angel notes that Gunn has met him before. Gunn reveals that he came to the basement in “Origin” and tried to bring him back to L.A. A pregnant woman named Amanda (played by Jaime Bergman, aka David Boreanaz’s wife) arrives for a meeting about a demon pact; she tells Angel and Gunn that a seer with the Fell Brethren said there was a prophecy about her baby being holy. Gunn starts to advise her, but he’s interrupted by members of the brethren. Back in Wesley’s office, Illyria says that time doesn’t exist until it “cracks apart.” She doubles over in pain again, knocking a glass of water off of the desk. When she straightens up, she’s in the training room with Wesley and Angel. Angel tells Wesley to go after her and Wesley aims a weapon at her. She doubles over again, this time straightening up in the observation area next to the training room. She’s back at the beginning of the day, when Spike and Angel were discussing stopping her training sessions.

Illyria doubles over and winds up back in Wesley’s office. “You tried to murder me,” she accuses him. He says that he doesn’t want her dead, but she tells him that she was there and saw what happened. She heads through the lobby, followed by Lorne, who says into his walkie-talkies, “Bluebird is in flight.” The Fell Brethren complain to Harmony that they should be dealing with Amanda, then accept organic colas from her. Gunn looks over Amanda’s contract with the demons and he and Angel tell her that she can still get out of it. As Angel tries to figure out what to tell her, Lorne tries to contact him over the walkie-talkie. Amanda says that the Fell will worship and take care of her baby; he’ll be someone, which is something she can’t do for him. Gunn gets shaken up and has to leave the room. He tells Angel that the worst part about suburbia was the fake family, because they were only there to cover up the horror in the basement. He’s worried that Wolfram & Hart is hiding the horror the same way. Angel tells him that they’re not, and they need to get through this so they can move on to the big picture and figure out their next move. “She is our next move,” Gunn says. Wesley works in the science lab and is visited by Hamilton, who asks if they’ve found out anything about Illyria. He says that the Senior Partners are familiar with her and don’t want her around; however, they consider her the MoG’s problem, so they’re not going to deal with her.

Illyria heads down the hallway at Wolfram & Hart while Lorne reports via walkie-talkie that she’s on to him and his cover’s blown. The Fell tend to Amanda in the conference room as they wait for their meeting with Angel. They sign papers and Gunn realizes that the demons are going to ritually sacrifice the baby on his 13th birthday. Illyria arrives and Angel takes her out of the room, passing a frustrated Lorne, who doesn’t think that Angel is paying attention to his walkie-talkie. Angel tells Illyria never to interrupt his work. She doubles over and he starts to leave, saying he has more important things to do. She tells him that her death won’t save the MoG, then realizes that he doesn’t know what she’s talking about, since it hasn’t actually happened yet. Angel goes to the science lab and tells Wesley and Spike that Illyria is freaking out; Spike wonders how he can tell, since she spend two hours the previous day “mind-melding with a potted fern.” Wesley notes that Illyria is unstable because the fusion between her and Fred’s body is overloading her. Her human form can’t hold her power anymore, so soon she’s going to self-destruct. Wesley thinks that this gives the MoG an opening to kill her with something called a Mutari generator, which will draw her essence into itself. Wesley, Angel, and Spike head to the training room, where they’ve tracked Illyria, as Wesley explains that Illyria could cause damage to a number of blocks if she self-destructs. The three meet up with Lorne and go into the training room, where Illyria suddenly dusts Spike. She doubles over and Angel tells Wesley to use the Mutari generator. Before he can, Illyria kills Wesley with a dagger, punches through Lorne’s chest, and decapitates Angel.

Fortunately for the MoG, Illyria doubles over and winds up back in the hallway with Angel, after she interrupted his meeting. She grabs Angel, then doubles over again, transporting both of them to Wesley’s office. She notes that Angel wasn’t with them before and realizes that something’s happened to the time line. She doubles over and winds up back in the basement with both Gunn and Angel. She wonders how the MoG managed to take Illyria out of linear time, and Angel tells her that they don’t have any control over it. Angel yells at her to stop speechifying, indicating that he would have been very useful during season 7 of Buffy. In the middle of their argument, Illyria doubles over and she and Angel wind up in the training room with Lorne and Wesley’s bodies. She points out the pile of dust that used to be Angel and he realized that the MoG attacked Illyria. She doubles over, this time not transporting, and complains about Angel’s humanity. She tells him, “If you want to win a war, you must serve no master but your ambition.” Angel notes that if he’s there, the timeline has been altered and things can change. Illyria’s body starts cracking apart and blue light shines out of her, making her explode. Angel winds up back in the hallway, heading towards the training room with Spike and Wesley. He warns Wesley that Illyria is about to self-destruct, but Wesley and Spike don’t think he’s giving them any new information. They join Lorne and enter the training room again, wondering where Illyria is. Angel remembers that she said she killed Spike first, so he shoves him out of the way to change the timeline. Illyria stakes Angel, but he doesn’t turn to dust.

Angel stops Illyria, tells Wesley to put down the Mutari generator, and gets everyone to freeze. He says that he knows what happens and Illyria recognizes that she took him with her to various points in time. He says that they can’t let Illyria self-destruct and cause damage. Illyria wonders if they want her permission to kill her and Wesley reveals that the Mutari generator won’t kill her. He admits that he lied to Angel and that the generator will safely draw Illyria’s energy away from her and let her live. Illyria still isn’t happy and starts fighting Wesley and Spike. Angel tells Illyria that the future can change and she can pick a different path. She notes that that would mean she would be nothing. He replies that fighting to hold on is what’s killing her. Illyria starts breaking apart and says that she blames what’s happening on the weakness of humanity. “Fair enough,” Wesley replies, firing the Mutari generator at her. It draws the energy out of her, saving her and leaving her the same cheerful Illyria. Later, Wesley tells Angel that some of Illyria’s powers are gone and her strength has decreased. Angel is worried about where this will lead, but Wesley assures him that he’s not in love with Illyria, she’s just something he needs right now. Angel recognizes that Wesley may have been right before about Illyria being useful to the MoG. Gunn continues the meeting with the Fell Brethren, who have been joined by Hamilton. Angel arrives and announces that the baby belongs to the Fell. Shocked, Gunn asks what he’s doing and Angel replies, “What we’re supposed to. Serve our clients.”

MORAL, or CRAMMING COMPLEX ISSUES INTO A NUTSHELL: Keep people who can alter time away from weapons.

R.I.P.: Spike, Wesley, Lorne, Angel (but not really)

GRADE: B Cool, she killed everyone! That was kind of fun.

MEMORABLE QUOTES: Illyria: “When the world met me, it shuddered, groaned. It knelt at my feet.”
Spike: “‘Dear Penthouse, I don’t normally write letters like this, but--.’”

Gunn: (re: Wesley) “Yeah, I was just in his office, and--.”
Lorne: “…Don’t go in there! That’s where he keeps his full-strength crazy.”

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